Growth Promoting Properties of Newly Identified Root Fungi A. panicicola for Agricultural Applications

Invention Summary:

Rutgers scientists identified a new root endophytic fungal species, Acidomelania panicicola, which significantly increases growth and stress tolerance of different plant species.

A. panicicola was identified from switchgrass and other grass roots from the New Jersey Pine Barrens, where the soil content is nutrient poor, acidic, dry and has high levels of toxic soluble aluminum. Functional studies showed that A. panicicola significantly increased the root hair growth in switchgrass, rice and lettuce seedlings under acidic and poor nutrient conditions. In addition, inoculation of A. panicicola in switchgrass resulted in ~15% increase of seedling survival, as well as significant increase in root and shoot length.

Market Applications:

A. panicicola can be formulated in biofertilizers for applications in the fields of:

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Landscape restoration
  • Biofuel feedstock


  • Natural and ecologically-friendly product
  • Easy and economical preparation and formulation
  • Effective under adverse environmental conditions including drought and acid soils
  • Easy combination with other beneficial fungi and bacteria


Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. This product is available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
Deborah Perez
Associate Director, Physical Sciences & Ag
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey